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Western Michigan Broncos at Akron Zips: Preview, How to Watch, Listen, Stream 1/6/2017

Akron looks to move to 2-0 in the MAC

NCAA Basketball: Akron at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos have been struggling to score for two seasons. They looked like they might have turned the corner on their West Coast trip. Sadly for Bronco nation, they did not. The Bobcats held them under 60, while they lit it up from three on their own end.

It’s a tall order for them to right the ship against Akron. Last season against Akron, Thomas Wilder had almost half of his teams 53 points in a loss. This season they’ll need a solid performance from Wilder, and also need the freshman and Tucker Haymond to step up. I don’t see Broncos big man Drake Lamont having a huge game against the Zips.

It could happen. Freshman Reggie Jones scored 24 against JMU, and 12 against the Bruins. Tucker Haymond had 28 against Washington and 16 against the Bruins. Brandon Johnson, the other freshman hit double digits in points 7 times this season. The Broncos will need these three to pick up the scoring pace in this game, and all season. They have shown they can, they just lack the consistency.

The Zips moved to 11-3 in a somewhat unexpectedly close game against Bowling Green to open MAC play. The Falcons have been on a roll, and currently playing better than their 6-8 record. The close game shouldn’t worry you if you are a Zips fan.

Isaiah Johnson has been a stat sheet stuffing machine this season in the middle for Akron. They have 5 other guys averaging over 9 points a game. The amount of weapons, and their skill level are the reasons why Hustle Belt has had the Zips at or near the top of our power rankings all season.

WMU has the pieces to compete in every phase of the game, except scoring. If they don’t score, they can’t win. I know that sounds simplistic, but it’s appropriate for this game. I expect them to keep Akron around 70 points. I don’t see the Broncos score more than that, or even close to it. Basketball is a streaky game, so it’s possible the other scorers step up for WMU, so I will be watching this game. I just might have to turn it at the half.

When: 6:30pm Friday, January 6th, 2017

Where: James A. Rhodes Arena, Akron

Watch: Via Stream on CBS Sports Network

Listen: WZOX 96.5 in Kalamazoo, Fox Sports 1350am in Akron.

Line: Akron -12